It has been two years since the Utah Department of Transportation built a barrier down the middle of the Highway 89-91coming into the south end of Logan and in the process limited vehicle access to several businesses like Wendy’s, Crystal Inn and Motel 8.
All involved understand UDOT’s objective was to make a dangerous stretch of the highway safer.
“Yes, and I can’t fault UDOT for doing that,” said Jeff Gibson of Wendy’s. “There were accidents on that road. As a business owner the last thing you’d want to see is anybody have an accident. But that barrier has taken the wind out of the sales of our business.”
Gibson said from the day the barrier was installed 15-to-20 percent of Wendy’s business was lost.
“Those at the nearby motels tell me it has taken away their walk-in traffic,” said Gibson. “Those driving on their way north to destinations like Yellowstone, but planning a night in Logan, spot a motel just as they drive into Logan, but couldn’t turn in because of the barrier.”
Gibson said tour busses, which comprised a lot of business for Crystal Inn, are now unable to access that motel.
Gibson has sent letters and met with UDOT officials four times pleading the case of the affected businesses. The barrier remains.
He said there wasn’t much notice issued before the barrier’s construction.
“An intern came around with a letter indicating a barrier would be put on Highway 89-91but there were no diagrams or pictures or an explanation of what exactly was going to happen. When I received that letter I assumed there was going to be a turn lane into Golf Course Road. I didn’t know they were going to close off Golf Course Road.”
Gibson said affected property owners met and proposed closing seven different accesses from about Wendy’s location going north, replacing those with three accesses. Nothing has been done.
He said all the merchants are dealing with the question: “How do we tell somebody an easy way to get to our location without drawing them a map?”
What options remain?
“We may end up just closing that location (of the south Wendy’s). Hopefully people will find us and we’ll be able to earn their business. We hope it becomes destination location instead of an easy location.”